5th Circuit Considers Whether Trump Admin
Was Legally Authorized To Ban Bump Stocks

(Slide Fire Solutions)

By Jacob Sullum. Aug 8, 2022

Three years ago, a federal ban on "bump-stock-type devices" took effect, transforming otherwise law-abiding owners of such firearm accessories into felons overnight. Despite its severe and startling consequences, that ban was never approved by Congress. It was unilaterally imposed by the Trump administration, which expanded the statutory definition of "machinegun" to include bump stocks and rifles equipped with them. As the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) explains in a brief it recently filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, that redefinition "defies any recognizable public meaning of the language of the statute and leads to absurd results."

Even if you have no interest in bump stocks or firearms generally, this case poses a question that should concern anyone who values the rule of law and the separation of powers. Can an administrative agency—in this case, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)—rewrite a statute to accommodate a president's policy preferences by criminalizing previously legal conduct, or is that authority reserved to the legislative branch?

Bump stocks, which became suddenly notorious after they were used in the 2017 Las Vegas massacre, facilitate a rapid-firing technique in which the shooter, after pulling the trigger, pushes the gun forward against his stationary trigger finger. The recoil resets the trigger, which repeatedly bumps against the finger because of the forward pressure. Prior to the federal ban, the leading manufacturer of bump stocks was Slide Fire Solutions, which sold a stock replacement that allowed the front part of a rifle to slide backward after each round, resetting the trigger. Crucially, a bump-fired rifle still discharges just one round each time the trigger is activated, and the technique does not require any particular accessory.

The first point is crucial because federal law defines a machine gun, which is more strictly regulated than a semi-automatic firearm, as "any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger." .....

A 2022 book of considerable interest worth a mention is - "The Awakening of Jennifer Van Arsdale: A Political Fable For Our Time", by George C, Leef", which can be found on Amazon.There are two reviews worth reading which give a good idea of it's theme - a review by Dr. Faria, and another by : Dr. Robert Young of DRGO.
For those who saw our recent item "2A Protects Everyone, as 12 Defensive Gun Uses Show" - a marked similarity in the theme will be noticed, involving an individual's realization of the need for armed self defense, despite having perhaps been a devotee of 'gun control'.


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